I have a dog problem. I realize that this sounds strange coming from somebody who last had a canine in residence five years ago, (Wow-can it really be that long?) but I really do. I have spent the better part of my life in the company of furry four-legged friends, and believe there are some dogs with whom I would much rather spend an afternoon than some people. Dogs are loyal, trustworthy, and love unconditionally. Yes, they can be sloppy, drooling, shedding, needy, and many times overwhelming creatures, (all of this is a shout-out to The Husband and a means to pacify his somewhat ill-conceived logic as to why we do not currently share our lives with a dog) but to call me anything other than a dog person with a deep seated love and longing for all things canine is to deny a huge part of my psyche. I am not usually the person in the room who complains about dogs, and I have zero fear when it comes to even the most surly of animals, but I think that I have finally found my Achilles heel.
We live a pretty quiet and unassuming life when we are down in the Southern Home. It is true that condo life is not for the faint of heart or the politically squeamish, but we avoid most of the huge pitfalls and for the most part fly under the condo bullshit radar. We have had a mostly peaceful co-existence with our neighbours and, truth be told are not even certain as to some of their identities-even those on our own floor. Our little corner of the 5th has been for the most part all about exchanging morning pleasantries and inquiries as to weather and daily health. That all changed this year, when our neighbour across the hall, who had been previously renting out her unit, decided to move in full time and bring along her obnoxious Chihuahua. Ay Caramba!!
It should be noted that chihuahuas are amongst my least favourite of all breeds. They tend to be miserably tempered, oversized rats with stupid looking satellite-sized ears. And this was before bored women with too much time and money on their hands decided that it would be cute fashion to dress the poor creatures up like a Barbie and carry them around in expensive Coach bags! They are ankle biters and barkers because, really what else do they have? Their entire defence mechanism revolves around making a great deal of noise and hoping against hope that the perceived threat won't discover that the squeaky series of yelps and growls is actually emanating from a three pound misery on four legs. I have such a nightmare living across the hall from me, and as I type this post she is creating yet another in a winter-long series of commotions about absolutely nothing. The Husband has told me that when we Skype or speak on the phone, he can actually hear the wretched thing coming through the doors and walls. Various house guests over the past couple of months have remarked on the gigantic lungs on the creature, and how her barks awakened them in our second bedroom.
She attacks when I open my front door to remove garbage, and she starts up when the elevator arrives at our floor. She is worse when her people are away, and she can actually be heard by residents a floor below. I tried to enlist the opinions of another neighbour thinking that there might be safety in numbers, but I was accused of not being "a dog person". That one hit hard. I know that I should register a complaint with the building management, but I just cannot seem to do it. I really like my anonymous existence here and the last thing I want to do is start a war with my neighbour. I tend not to be all that confrontational with issues like this one, and as we all know people can be pretty sensitive when it comes to criticizing their dogs or their kids. I am at a bit of loose ends.
I know what I must do, but I am really not looking forward to it. I have come to realize one thing, though. Big dogs have it all over their pint-sized cousins. I will take the sloppy, drooling, shedding, neediness any day over the Napoleonic complex miniature anything. I am thinking a chocolate lab this time instead of vanilla. Husband?